Palestinian sources in Gaza reported that a cab driver was killed and several other people were injured during an IDF attack on a vehicle that was located near a Palestinian National Security outpost, west of Beit Hanun in the northern Strip.
IDF sources said the Air Force has not been operating in Gaza, adding that the death may have been the result of ongoing IDF artillery fire on the area.
Sources said another Palestinian sustained moderate wounds after an IDF tank shelled a plastic factory near the Jebalya refugee camp, also in Gaza.
Army officials said that as early as last week it was made clear to the Palestinians that the artillery fire would be aimed at all Qassam rocket launching areas.
The dead Palestinian was identified as 28-year-old Yasser Jrar, who, according to the Palestinians, was driving security officers to the outpost at the time of the IDF attack.
The sources added that IAF aircraft have been flying over Gaza throughout the morning.
The latest killing brings the death toll in Gaza to 16 since the weekend began.
A short while after the Gazan’s death was reported the IDF identified a Qassam rocket launching, but the rocket apparently did not land in Israeli territory.
Army officials said that with the launching of the operation against Qassam launching cells in Gaza the IDF has called on Palestinian security officers to leave north Gaza immediately, but most of them were ordered by Hamas-appointed Minister Said Siam to stay put.
Therefore, the army officials said, the responsibility for any harm done to security officers lies with the Palestinian Authority and the terror organizations.
The IDF said the Qassam rocket fire is carried out from the Palestinian security outposts themselves.
‘Israel is a terror state’
Meanwhile, Israel Police is on the highest alert Sunday ahead of the Pesach holiday and in light of threats made by all the Palestinian organizations, who vowed to respond to the IDF attacks over the weekend.
The Israeli air force struck Saturday evening a Gaza Strip training camp of the Abu-Reish Brigades, a group affiliated with the Fatah movement. Seven Palestinians were killed in the strike, and three others were wounded.
The attack marked the third straight day in which the IDF targeted Palestinians organizations’ training facilities.
Also on Saturday, the Air Force struck a vehicle containing a Qassam launch cell in northern Gaza. IDF sources say that the cell attempted to fire rockets at Israel and was hit by the missile after entering the vehicle; two Palestinians were killed in the attack.
Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh told reporters in Gaza “the objective of the Israeli escalation is to bring forth a Palestinian surrender and extort diplomatic concessions.”
PA spokesman Rai Hamad said “Israel is a terror state that must disappear and be isolated. We are surprised by Europe’s stance in light of the Israeli-initiated escalation.”